Disclaimer: Advances AcousticWerkes ( AAW ) provided the samples in this review for free. They do not have to be returned according to my knowledge. Thanks a lot! Editor’s note: This is Ed’s first guest reviews for Headfonia. Welcome Ed!
About the brand
Advanced Acoustic Werkes (AAW) have been around for quite some time already, crafting custom made in ear monitors for professionals and audiophiles alike. Now they have also released three universal fit in ear models. The Nebula One, Nebula Two and Q. The first two share the same ergonomics and build, while the latter is supposed to be the smallest audiophile earphone on the market.
AAW has the following on their website:
“Advanced AcousticWerkes (AAW) is a Singapore based electric-acoustic company specialized in in-ear monitoring technology. AAW is recognized by the audiophile and professional community for our exquisite hybrid drive technology and bespoke custom in-ear monitor products, during which course we have successfully attracted a diverse clientele consists of pro-musicians, audio engineers as well as serious audiophiles. We have accumulated vast experience and expertise in sound engineering and human ergonomics by working closely with several otolaryngologists as well as professional musicians.“
“Hello, my name is Ed, and I’m an audioholic“. This is how I imagine introducing myself to a community of audio heads like me. I’m a person that thinks in songs. If there’s one part in a sentence that reminds me of a song, I immediately have it in my head until another one comes along. There is constantly some random tune floating around in my mind, which gets expressed by less than mediocre beats pushed out by my lips and throat. Yes, I am talking about bad beatboxing, I guess my colleagues can write novels about that, sorry. My journey began when I was 16 years old, and my brother showed me his new headphones. I don’t remember exactly what model it was, but it was from AKG. The sound has taken me, such clear and great sound from a pair of headphones. Delicious. From that moment on, I was trying to find a suitable sound for me. Now, it appears to be an endless search and I can say I still haven’t arrived at the end of my journey. I came across immense amounts of headphones, amplifiers, DACs and digital audio players. I played around with multiple software and operating systems and there were times when I thought I was there, but after a while any gear reveals its flaws and so the hunt continued. Like many of us, I have spent too much money on gear already. Been upgrading too fast and always craving for more. I have realized for myself that there is no use in owning an army of headphones, DAPs or amps. There has to be the one.
Half of my family is musical – playing instruments and able to sing, the other half is trying to get the best audio out of any system. I am definitely not in the musical part. I listen to a wide array of genres. Starting with IDM, Glitch, Downbeat, Trip-Hop and going over to Progressive Rock, Jazz, some Classic, acoustic and on to French stuff. Who listens to only one genre anyway?
That’s enough about me. Let’s get on with why we’re here for.
Introduction to the review
Advanced Acoustic Werkes (AAW) is one of those names that popped up more and more often lately. They seemed to enjoy a great reputation among the headphone enthusiastic community. So when I was talking to Lieven I asked if he has got a review planned for them, curious about what he was thinking about them. Being the busy man that is Lieven, he hadn’t anything planned for them yet but asked me if I’d be interested in giving them a spin. I was. He then reached out to AAW and discussed the possibilities of a review, after that he introduced me to Kevin and Le, very helpful and nice guys. After a bit of chatting the review samples were set and ready to go. Not a week later they arrived at my doorstep.
For this review I am only using one source. Why? Because I know it very well, it is my daily go to DAP: Astell&Kern’s AK380 in sexy black. I know it is not a source everyone can relate to, but in the end this review is not about the player, but about the earphones, and I feel I can describe the sound of all three models best with the source that I know best. Hence the 380.
All pictures are taken from AAW’s website, unless mentioned differently. The earphones were used with their stock silicone tips.
What I am looking for in a pair of in ears
I have to admit, I wasn’t into in ears until about a year ago. I never got a decent fit and always had problems with comfort. That was until Beyerdynamic and Astell&Kern introduced the world, and me, to the AK T8iE. A full and great sounding in ear with the best comfort to date! If it wasn’t for the poor quality of their MMCX connection I probably would still own a pair of these. Anyhow, this was the pair that got me into inears. That still doesn’t exactly tell you what I’m looking for, right?
Well, personally I think an in ear must be comfortable, great sounding (duh) and well isolating. The main use of in ears is to enjoy quality sound on the go. I don’t want to hear what the world around me sounds like. I know a lot of people will have a different opinion but I think it is necessary for you to know. It kind of is mandatory to know the person behind the review to get a feeling for said review, correct? My preferred sound signature is a musical engaging one with enough details to draw my attention to the entire spectrum of the sound.
10Hz – 23000Hz
10Hz – 43000Hz
10Hz – 40000Hz
Max Input Power
– Titanium plated micro driver
– Enhanced acoustic structure
– Ergonomic design with over
– Durable and microphonic
– Android/Apple dual mode
– BA super tweeter
– 10mm dynamic driver hybrid
– TruXrossTM free crossover
– Semi-open acoustic structure- Ergonomic design with over
– Durable and microphonic
– Android/Apple dual mode
– Stainless steel construction
– Dual sensity diaphragm
– Invisible deep canal fit
– Premium OFC cable
– Luxury leather strap case
– Leather cable clip
Both Nebula models share the same droplet design. It is simple and elegant. Nothing too flashy and design definitely follows function. The Nebulas look very comfy and well built.
Nebula One’s top is in aluminum silver finish and the rest is kept in black. That also makes it look like a little sir. Nebula Two is kept in all black, except for the nozzle which is colored in silver. This makes the Two look very classy. Q in the end is an ear tip with a little bit of extra body. There isn’t a lot of design to it. Like its siblings, form follows function. Q is designed to be an in canal earphone. So it’s supposed to get directly into your ear canals.
All three models are very well built, that’s for sure. Nebula One and Two appear to have a zinc alloy top and what looks to be a plastic bottom. That gives them a good quality build in my opinion. They are both built to be worn over the ear and have memory wires for a secure and decent sit. Both Nebulas come with a built in microphone and inline remote for Android and Apple smartphones. For anyone using their phone as an audio player this might come in handy. I didn’t get to use this feature, since the AK doesn’t know how to handle input commands from an earphone. It didn’t bother me though.
It continues on the second page, after the jump or the click HERE